The police are available to help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round. This means keeping people safe can be hard. There may be occasions where, while dealing with an incident, you can’t leave immediately at the end of your shift. This requires you to be flexible. During your probation period, you will be expected to work three weekends on and two weekends off. Your shifts will vary: days, evenings, nights and weekend shifts.
However, we understand that you will have family and social commitments and we make every effort to afford you flexibility in roles, let you have your shift patterns in advance and try to manage work life balance.
While we do have some officers that work part-time, you won’t be able to do this immediately. In due course, you may wish to discuss flexible working with your line manager.
The role of a police officer
The role of an officer is varied and challenging. That is what attracts people to the job. You will be exposed to situations that are unpleasant that you may not have encountered before. You might attend serious injury road traffic collisions, violent situations and even death. This is why we regard the role of a PC very highly. We equip you with a world class training programme to guide you.
The role requires you to be resilient, with effective communication and problem solving skills. Not everyone starts off with a full checklist of everything, but we partner you with experienced officers to give you the chance to develop the skills and knowledge required. The reward you get from helping people in need, is often cited as the reason why police officers joined the job.
Every police force has a rank structure where it’s important to be able to follow instruction. After all, it can be a matter of life and death at times! As an officer, you have significant powers in serving and protecting the public. With this honour, there needs to be responsibility and accountability. We expect everyone, regardless of rank or role, to commit to ethical behaviour and values.
What is the recruitment process?
Applicants are required to pass a rigorous recruitment process consisting of:
Security / vetting checks including biometrics vetting checks
Substance misuse testing
What is assessed at Eligibility sift?
This is to review applicant’s eligibility to apply to become a police officer.
What is assessed at National sift?
The national sift is made up of two parts
Situation Judgement test (SJT)
Behaviour style questionnaire (BSQ)
What does the Online Assessment look like?
The assessment is made up of three parts
Competency based interview
Applicants receive an email with information in advance of the online assessment centre. The information should be read thoroughly prior to the day.
What is assessed at interview?
Applicants will be assessed at interview against transferrable skills into the role of police constable and knowledge of the force.
What does the fitness test consist of?
Candidates are required to complete a 15m multi-stage shuttle run (bleep test) to level 5.4 (3 minutes and 40 secs).
The bleep test includes a warmup to level 3 (1 min 30 secs), followed by stretching.
Candidates are entitled to three attempts to pass the test, after an agreed time for training and improvement, depending upon level of fitness/strength. This will be agreed by the candidate and the trainer. If a candidate fails at the second attempt, they are rejected from the recruitment process.
Tips for training: -
Cardiovascular: 3 x sessions/week
Steady running – warm up 5 mins, then 15 mins – 20 mins. (NB. 10k/hr is the speed of running at level 5). Cool down. You may need to gradually increase your speed or time – do one or the other, not at the same time.
Interval training – warm up 5 mins, then 30 seconds sprint (hard) + 30 seconds walk (easy) x 10. Cool down.
What does the medical entail?
The medical standards for police recruitment have been set by the Home Office and are used as guidance by Occupational Health when assessing an individual from a health perspective. Applicants are assessed in terms of ability based on the role, functions and activities of an operational constable and their fitness to work. Advice is also given on potential accommodations for disability; each case is considered individually.
The medical will consist of the following:
An assessment by the nurse of your completed medical history questionnaire
The nurse taking a history of any health conditions you have disclosed
Height and weight measurements
Body Mass Index is calculated
Blood pressure and pulse will be recorded
A urine test to check for undiagnosed diabetes and other possible health conditions, but this is not a drug test.
A hearing test sitting in a small booth
A breathing test. Smoking should be avoided for at least 2 hours before your appointment as this may affect some of the results.
It is a good idea to arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time as paperwork needs to be completed.
Applicants are required to meet a minimum residency criterion of 3 years within the UK.
What training will I receive?
Standard police officer training as mandated by the College of Policing, includes an induction, law, and operational modules with an initial classroom period (17 weeks), a ten-week period with an experienced tutor constable, followed by ongoing work-based assessment to achieve the Level 3, Diploma in Policing.
Will I be expected to work nights and or weekends?
Yes, where the demand requires it, shift patterns include several night shifts and weekend working.
Will I have to deal with confrontation?
Yes. You will receive training to enable you to deal with confrontation effectively. Police officers are regularly faced with differing levels of confrontation, and it is an area in which you would need to demonstrate your ability before you are allowed to go out on independent patrol.
What does the shift pattern look like?
Within the probationary period student officers spend most of their time either in the classroom or on one of our policing teams. Shift pattern includes a mixture of day, evening, night, and weekend working.
Where will I be based?
Whilst the Force will always try to accommodate individuals’ preferences when deciding on postings, officers can be posted anywhere within the county. The chief constable reserves the right to post an officer anywhere within the county boundaries.
I am involved in politics. Is this, ok?
Police Regulations state that officers should not take an active part in politics. As such you would be required to cease this role upon appointment.
I own my own business and would like to carry on after appointment. Is this possible?
Business interests should not conflict with the work of the police and should not adversely affect the reputation of the individual, the Force and/or the Police Service. If you have a business interest and intend to continue with it if you are appointed, please contact Recruitment Team prior to completing an application, as you may be ineligible.
I have an application in with another Force, can I still apply?
Applicants can apply to two different Forces at the same time but can only undertake the Online Assessment with one Force.
I have previously applied for the role of police officer and failed the Assessment Centre process. Can I apply?
Previous applicants can re-apply three months after failing the online assessment. However, where an applicant fails under Equality and Diversity, they must wait at least twelve months before re-applying. There is no time limit in place, where an applicant fails paper sift or interview.
What roles will I perform whilst within my probationary period?
Once officers have completed their tutoring period and are confirmed as able to work independently, they will be posted to the Local Response Team, responding to emergencies as well as other calls for service.
How long is the probationary period?
PCEP Student Officers are on probation for the first two years of their service (pro rata). DHEP Student Officers are on probation for the first two years of their service (pro rata). PCDA Student Officers are on probation for the first three years of their service (pro rata).
During this time, they are required to demonstrate satisfactory performance across a range of competencies to be confirmed in their appointment.